Monday, October 31, 2011

halloween treats

I love me a holiday - or any excuse to come up with fun food.  Sometimes I think holidays are the reason I had kids.  I mean, it's so much fun!

I'm short on time right now, but here are a few pics of some of the fun treats we had this weekend. :)

We tried to keep things balanced with some healthy options.  Here are our hummus pumpkins.
hummus, dyed orange on whole wheat flat bread - toppings of choice!

Next up - deviled spider eggs.  Eww, right? :)

Monster mouths!

Not everything needs to be healthy.  Next we made a rice krispie pumpkin patch.


And then these little fellas were the biggest hit.  
How cute are they?
(abby's is the one with the hillbilly teeth in the corner...)

And last but not least - our pumpkins for this year.  Abby got to stay up WAY past her bedtime, but we had to get in pumpkin carving.  

Also, something to remember - Abby had some pumpkins and paint to play with while I worked on one of the bigger ones.  My little neat freak painted the pumpkin, got wipes, cleaned all of the paint off the pumpkin, off her plate, and off her hands -then asked to paint again.  She repeated this cycle 3 times before I convinced her to let the paint dry.  Silly goose. :)

Hope everyone has a happy halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

best daddy

Two for one post Friday!  ;)

Abby routinely plays on my phone in the car.  Yesterday, I was talking to Kyle and I said "Hey, Abby really wants to color on my phone, so if you need me, call Brit - as Abby will probably not answer"

A few minutes later I hear Abby in the back seat laughing.  

at this...

Apple Picking 2011

Really?  I haven't blogged about Apple Picking yet?  *shakes head*

Well, last weekend, we squeezed it in.  Typically, Apple Picking is over by mid October.  Last year, it was over by Columbus Day.  We had a weekend picked out - but it was raining, so we decided to take a risk and go later in the month.  I called the farm and they said because it had been a very rainy season, that they expected to be open for several more weeks.  Yay!

Karen came with us, so we waited for her to get off work and we went in the late afternoon.  I was excited because that's the best light for pictures.  Of course, once the time rolled around - there was nothing but grey rain clouds everywhere.  Everything was wet and it sprinkled on us on the drive up. 

By the time we got there, we had about an hour and a half before the farm closed - so no time to waste. I got to clickin' and Karen and Brit got to pickin'  ;)

I love this tradition.  Probably more for the pics and the setting - but it's also just so much fun.  And I love watching Abby get so excited.  It made me want to live on a farm - watching her run and run and run and laugh and run.  She was so happy!  E slept most of the time - but that was awesome too.  

Anyway, we took pics.  It was much darker than I wanted it to be and I had to play with my camera settings a lot to get them to turn out.  But still, we had a lot of fun.  I mostly followed Abby around and just clicked and clicked and clicked.  She's such a little love. 

Right before we left, the sun peeked through the clouds and we got some nice warm sunset light.  I grabbed that as much as I could, and it made me happy. 

Mostly - I'm just happy to have had the trip with my family.  It's the one time a year that I can usually get a family picture of us.  I love it.  I love them!

...Oh, and the 25lbs of apples we brought home were good too.  

I took something like 500 pics.  Ha.  I narrowed it down to about 60.  Here are among my favorite few. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

first food

Our little E will turn 6 months old tomorrow, but we threw all caution to the wind and let her have her first food this weekend.

In short, she loved it.

It's fun to see her so excited about food.  She's probably been "ready" to eat for at least a few weeks now. She's been watching us, reaching for our spoons, trying to grab things off plates.  But, we wanted to wait until closer to the 6 month mark.  But also?  It took us about a week to find a time when Kyle and I were both home when E was awake to do it.

We're skipping rice cereal, just like we did with Abs.  I don't see the point of rice cereal least not when they're this old.  We start with oatmeal, and tonight we're going to start with a real food - probably sweet potatoes again.

E loves it.  She's about to get so chunky.  It'll be awesome.

I gave her oatmeal for breakfast this morning - after her morning bottle and before her 1st nap bottle.  She could. not. get. enough. It's pretty entertaining to watch.  I don't know how much she'd eat if I let her, but I'm cutting her off after a 1/2 cup for now.

Anyway - I can't believe Elizabeth is this old already.  And then? I kinda can.  I dunno, the whole mom gig is played out in a time warp.

Friday, October 21, 2011

phone pics etc.

Today is the first day this week that I'm actually sitting at my desk for more than 3 minutes.  So, I'm going to take these next few minutes to do a quick catch up.  I thought using some of the random pics in my phone would make this a) more interesting and b) quicker :)

Last weekend, I went to Maine to shoot a wedding for a friend of mine.  I can't really tell you how much fun I have taking pictures - I *love* it.  I mean, it was a lot of work.  I basically carried around 20-30lbs of equipment and did squats and arm weights for 13 hours.  I was sore the next day for sure.  But...I really love capturing moments like this.   I'm still working through all the pictures I took, but hopefully I'll have them ready for the bride (and world) soon-ish.  

Anyway - so I went to Maine.  My first time up there and I went alone.  It was my first time away from E overnight.  Kyle was also away that weekend, so Brittany was left to parent the two girls for a good 24 hours.

I was pretty excited.  I wasn't worried about the girls at all - I knew they were in great hands.  I was much more worried about Brittany...because, let's face it, kids are exhausting and I don't want to scare her away!  But still, a whole night just to myself?  I mean...c''s the stuff of which dreams are made. ;)

Aaaaaaaand, the route I had to take just happened to run right by the only Sonic in the state.  It's about an hour away from where we, yes, I stopped.  And yes, it was worth every calorie. 

I got to the resort, got settled, and took pictures for the rest of the day. The hotel was was bed and breakfast like, but on a larger scale.  I'm a nerd, so I took a picture of the bathroom decor with my phone...

This is one of the "real" pics of the bridal room - but it gives you an idea of the place.  It was nice. :)  

The next morning...after my first full night of sleep in 6 months... I helped myself to the complimentary breakfast.  They had more food than I could sample.  It was awesome.  French toast, bacon, scalloped potatoes, peach pancakes, fruit, eggs?  I didn't even get to try the omelet bar, homemade granola, yogurts, or any of the other dozen dishes they had.  It was quite yummy - and again, a quiet breakfast, just me, overlooking a pretty little river, sipping coffee, alone?  Glorious. 

(note: I really love my kids and family more than life, I hope I'm not giving the wrong's just, y'know, sometimes it's nice to not have to drink your coffee with a baby on your hip and the Chuggington theme song on full blast)

After breakfast, I went out on my own and just shot pics of the Maine coastline and the town.  Again - I don't know if there is anything more relaxing and fun for me.  No real time constraints, nobody was looking for me, I just walked around and tried to capture the landscape.  Maine is very pretty.

Abby and E had a great time while I was gone.  Brittany sent me proof.  :)

This is actually from a few days later - but more proof of how fun NeeNee is. 

Ok! So that was last weekend. :)  

A few more tidbits. 

The other day, Abby pulls up E's baby seat and sits it right in front of Brittany (who was sitting in the recliner) and says "Let's talk"  Brittany laughs and says, "Ok, what do you want to talk about?"

Abby props her feet up on the chair in front of her, folds her arms behind her head and says "I'd like to talk about rice"  I mean, where does she get this?  Brittany says "Ok, rice is white and sometimes brown and yummy"  Abby gives an exaggerated "Hmmmmmm.  Yes, I think that's right"  then she announced she was going to go play.  It was so random and spontaneous and had us all laughing. 

Here's little miss sass.
(I know I need to put some E pictures up, but I have shockingly few on my phone.  The only ones I have are in her halloween costume, so I obviously can't show those yet ;)

We actually went to the library yesterday.  For the first time since E was born.  I KNOW.  Shameful!  Hopefully we'll be able to incorporate it back into our weekly routine now that I'm getting better at juggling.  Relatedly, I just want to reiterate something I've said a million times.  I think being a stay at home mom is the most mentally exhausting job ever.  My hat goes off to all of you.  Working full time actually gives me moments to myself - something you don't get at home.  But - I think that being a working mommy has been more physically exhausting on me.  A good 7 hours of my day are spoken for and it isn't always easy to squeeze errands and family time and things like cleaning or eating into the mix.  So, you prioritize and do the best you can.

I know, nothing everybody didn't already know there.  But one day, when Abby or E are reading this, I want them to know that there was a reason why we were always out of milk and why they didn't get a bath every night of the week and that the reason the laundry was never folded was because we decided that playing at the park was more important.  Sigh.  I'm definitely getting better at juggling - but I could still use a few more hands. ;-)


In other news - I love my new phone.  It not only does lots of nifty new tech things - it also validates my feelings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Well isn't this fancy

So, here I am. Driving. In Boston. And blogging at the same time.

Sounds dangerous right? I guess it would be, but I'm using my new phone – so I'm just talking and my phone is blogging for me.

Fancy, right?

I think so. In fact, maybe I'll blog a lot more if all I have to do is talk on the phone while I do other things. Other than looking a little crazy talking to myself, this could be really useful.

We got our new phones on Friday. Poor Kyle had to stand out in the rain for three hours to get our package FedEx, after we missed the delivery. But, all's well that ends well.

The new phone is quite the upgrade from my old which was the 3G. I'm liking it very much! And the voice activation is pretty awesome. Siri and I are BFFs.

Hopefully I'll get a real blog up later today. I have a lot I want to talk about, of course. But, right now I have to go to this meeting. And I'm here now – so I'll talk to y'all later. Bye-bye.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 14, 2011


E has a little cough and cold and she hasn't been feeling 100% the last few days.  This means a few things.  One of which is that she is in a high-maintanace mode.  All babies are pretty high-maintanace, but sick ones take the cake.

She didn't sleep long this afternoon for her nap, she's not been sleeping like she usually does.  She was only down for about 30 mins-ish.  SO, because I value sanity, I decided she would definitely be getting a late afternoon nap.  I put her down around 4 and it took a good 20 mins before I got her to sleep.  At first she tried to pull that stunt where I put her in the crib, and she laughs and pulls her swaddle all around and kicks and grins.

No, m'am.  Not today.  So, she eventually went to sleep.

I didn't want to wake her.  I know she's so tired.  But now it's been over 3 hours and she's still down.  Her bedtime was an hour ago.  And now I don't know what to expect.  Maybe she'll sleep all night.  Maybe she'll wake up in a few minutes.  I don't know.

And I wish she was feeling better and acting more consistently because I'm leaving tomorrow and I"ll be gone for 24 hours.  It will be my first night completely away from E.  I'm not worried about her in the sense that I know Brit will do a great job (Kyle will also not be around) - but I just wish she were feeling better.  What if she needs me?  I know.  She won't.  But still...what if?

Where am I going, you ask?  I'm taking pictures for a friend's wedding.  I'm looking forward to it.  It should be a lot of fun. I'll get to spend the night - and so the positive side to leaving is that I may actually get a full night of sleep for the first time least 6 months.  We'll see.

Work is getting busy.  Next week is crazy.  Things are just all happening at once now and several other things happened on top of those and it makes for quite the haystack of deadlines and to-dos.

Abby.  Abby is something else.  She has bloomed a new layer yet again in the last few weeks.  She's always been a talker, but it's like she just turned up her talk button a good 10 notches lately.  It's nonstop and her vocabulary is good.  I'm always shaking my in disbelief/amusement at the things she says.  And they're hard to explain because sometimes it's not the words that she says so much as it is how she says those words...which is difficult to translate across the interwebs.

She's very much into dancing lately.  She's come to like her ballerina tutu and slippers and puts them on to twirl and dance in.  She's not too bad. ;)

Last night I was invited to take pictures at the Ma School Psych Association Gala.  They were celebrating 50 years.  I enjoyed taking pics of course, and it was a good experience for me.  I learned a lot and had a nice time out too.

Kyle?  Kyle's ok.  He had a very very busy week.  The kind of week that means he had to stay up for multiple days in a row to get everything done.  It will get easier, but these things seem to come in waves.  A busy cycle followed by a less busy one.  We're in one of those phases right now where we are just ships passing in the night again.  We don't get a lot of time to see each other or talk about anything more than "Abby's doc appointment is on Tuesday, we're out of milk, will you bring the trash in later? Kloveyoubye"

Sigh.  It'll pass.

What else? Kyle and Brit just took Abs to go pick up our new phones.  We're both in pretty dire need of an this is pretty exciting.  Apparently the guy tried to deliver them today, but we never heard the bell.  So we're gonna try to meet up with the truck and hopefully they'll have them for us.  Yay.

Alrighty.  I think that's enough random boring information for the moment. I hope everyone's Friday night rocks.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

a plan complete

first day Billie Jo found out she was pregnant, me - 3 months pregnant


Friday, October 7, 2011


I was so tired Wednesday night.  I was a little bit sick and just worn out.  After we put Abby to bed, I went into our room and thought "nothing sounds better than sleep"  I didn't want supper or tv or anything.  So, I got into bed at 8pm.  I was a little sad that I was not spending time with Kyle...I was forfeiting our usual "how was your day" time in favor of sleep.  But Kyle understood.

I slept until 2am - when I woke up out of habit.  Elizabeth was still sleeping, so I took the time to check my phone (it's instinct, I check it every time I wake up).  I saw that I had 2 text messages.  One from a friend and one from Kyle.  I read my friend's message first and it said "I'm sorry for your loss"

Well, that certainly confused me.  I read Kyle's message next where he told me the sad news that Steve Jobs had passed away.

I was surprised by how sad that made me.  In fact, I was a little annoyed with myself.  I didn't know this man.  He certainly didn't know me.  We all knew he'd been sick and had stepped down recently...we knew this was coming.  But why was it making me so sad?  Why was I tearing up at 2am over a computer guy?

A few reasons.

Firstly, because, for reasons I can't explain, Jobs was a kind of...I can't say friend, and I think hero is too strong a word, inspiration? in our house.  While we didn't have a relationship with Jobs, he was somehow a part of our relationship.  I know, I KNOW.  That sounds ridiculous.  But the first reason I was sad was because Kyle had to hear that news without me there...and I was somehow upset that I wasn't there to watch the coverage with him.

Let's back up a few years.

I wasn't dating Kyle when he got his first mac, but I remember the day.  It was a 17 inch silver beauty and he was so excited about it.  He was especially excited about the accessibility features that would allow him to access material with much more ease than on his PC.

Time went on and we started dating.  We took a weekend trip with our friends Billie Jo and Ricky to Atlanta.  It was the weekend that Ricky proposed to Billie Jo at a Braves game. :)  Before we came home, we stopped by my first apple store.  I was just looking around and I noticed the cutest little laptop - a little bitty 12 inch thing.  I played with it.  Kyle came up and said "Whatcha lookin' at?" and I said, "I named him Pico"  Kyle laughed (because it is SO like me to name an inanimate object) and said "Well, if you named it, you gotta keep it"

I couldn't afford it of course.  So, Kyle bought it for me.  We kept that pretty hush hush because we'd only been dating a few months...if that.  I paid him back with my RA paycheck every month for about a year.  But, it was thanks to Kyle that I got my first mac.  Of course neither of us have ever looked back.

Kyle's love of all things Apple is infectious...and a friend of mine who also has an Apple-loving husband brought up that it is also endearing.  I believe Kyle has converted most, if not all, of our family into mac users.

Anyway.  We've been Apple fans for a while.  We go to the stores for fun.  We stood in line to see the Boston store on opening day.  We watch the keynotes (or Stevenotes as they're known) and consider it a date night.  Some of my favorite date nights with kyle were watching Steve unveil his newest contraption while we ate apple themed foods in our jeans and black shirts and talked about the ins and outs of whatever was being shown.  I remember watching the iPhone be revealed.  I remember our excitement and I remember telling my family about this awesome new phone that I could only ever dream of owning.  It's kinda funny now.

So, my point is this.  Steve Jobs has been part of our relationship in this way - we bonded over it.  So, when I heard that he had died, I think that's why I was sadder than I had anticipated I would be.

Abby and Elizabeth will never ever know a world without mac products.  They were born into an iPhone, iPad culture.  Abby can use my phone just as well as I can.  It's unreal.  It is difficult to wrap my mind around it - around how much Steve has changed our world through technology.  I'm not going to go through a biography of the man.  It suffices to say he was an interesting individual, a genius  in his field, and an inspiration to so many.

To my girls - This guy that I've been talking about will have no real meaning in your life.  But he was a smart guy and he said some smart things that I want you to hear.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” 

It's good advice, really.

I'm also a fan of

"Why join the Navy if you can be a pirate?"

I like it because it's whimsical...not practical. ;)

Anyway, I just thought I should mention this event because I felt like it was worth noting and I wanted the girls to know it happened and to have some understanding of it.  I don't really know if I accomplished that or not, but that's fine too.

 Rest in peace, Steve.  Thanks for being a part of our lives.

This was one of my favorite tributes. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


One of my earliest memories was from when we lived in Hot Springs. I was probably around 2, maybe a little younger?  I can't remember if Michael was around yet or not.  But I remember standing in my crib, holding on to the side rails and crying.  It was dark.  I remember seeing a light illuminate the outline of my door, and then the door opened and my mom came in.  Before she could make it across the small room, it happened again - a big loud crash of thunder filled my ears and I started screaming all over again.  I vaguely remember my mom hush-hush-hushing me and picking me up.  Then somebody put the lens cap on my memory-camera.

But I remember being scared.  I remember not knowing what was making that noise.  I was scared of thunder for a long time.  Even after I'd outgrown my tears, I would often lay in bed, wide awake, clutching my covers waiting for the storm to pass.  As an adult, I kind of like storms - but those big thunder crashes still make me jump sometimes.

We don't get thunder very often up here, but the past few times that we have - it has made Abby nervous.  The first time she ever heard thunder, I tried pretty hard to make it not-scary for her, to lighten the mood and associate it with happy thoughts...but, thunder - and especially thunder at night - is just unsettling to wee ones.

So, when some lightning woke me up last night, I knew she was going to wake up too.  She woke up the first time around 2am.  She stayed in bed, but cried.  I went in and she said she wanted to be tucked in.  She was unaware that the still far away storm is what woke her up, and she went back to sleep easily.  Elizabeth then woke up for her night bottle, and she too, went back to sleep easily.  I got back in bed and listened to the storm get closer.  The soft rumbling distant thunder turned into harsher claps.  The rain went from gently falling on the house to pelting the windows.  I was just waiting for Abby and I was thinking about my first thunder memory.

And then a very loud flash and clap happened right over us.  Abby ran out of her room - the poor thing must have been laying in her bed awake too - and started crying.  She ran into my room, where I met her at the door.  I played dumb and asked her what was wrong as I picked her up.  She put her head on my shoulder and said "I just want to wock"

I felt bad for her.  I remember exactly what it felt like to be so scared of something so abstract and big and unknown.  So, I asked her an unprecedented question, "do you want to come sleep in mommy's bed?"  She had said yes before I'd even finished the question.  Kyle had fallen asleep downstairs, so there was plenty of room for the two of us.

I never let her sleep in our bed, but I dunno, maybe deep down I wanted the company too.  We got snuggled in and tried to sleep.  After a flash of lightning, Abby grabbed my hand and pulled it up to her ear, "mommy, will you cover my ears, pwease?"  So, I did.

A minute or so later, Kyle came upstairs - the thunder had woken him up too.  Things got a little cramped with the three of us, so I ended up taking Abby to her room and laying in her bed with her.  It took her a while to fall asleep, and she kept one hand in my hair so that she would know if I tried to leave.  I told her I could only stay for a little while.  It took her about an hour to fall into a deep sleep.  About the time she did, E woke up.  Of course.

I ended up just getting E up for the day around 5:30 - I had to get up anyway.  I was so tired.  Kinda still am. ;)

Anyway, just wanted to say that I was happy that I could be a source of comfort for Abby last night.  Just like my mom was for me.  I mean, I know, that's what mom's DO.  That's our primary superpower - to comfort when nothing else can.  But I still like knowing that it works.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

a story

I've mentioned previously that I'm taking a photography course.  The whole point of the course is to learn all the ins and outs of a good pictures so that you can take a good picture straight out of the camera and not have to spend a lot of time and energy in post processing.  So, I was working on my homework and decided to use E as my subject.  She can be a little tricky sometimes...with the moving and the flailing and the mood swings...  But, the other day we had a nice time outside.  

After looking through my pictures, these made me laugh.  I thought they told a story, so here they are to share.

"La De Da, here I am, enjoying some time outside with mommy, being outside is awes..."

"...omG! Is that a bottle I see?"

"Don't mind me...I'm just sitting on my tummy, looking at the house.  I am not at all reaching for that..."


"sooooo yuummmmmy"

"sneak attack."

"What? It's Empty?!"

"Just kidding.  I knew that."